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Leslie Banks stars as the title character, a British officer who manages to keep the peace between the African tribes loyal to His Majesty and those loyal to the African king.
His right-hand man, one of the tribal leaders, played by Paul Robeson, does all he can to help Banks maintain the peace, but when Banks takes a trip away from the region, all hell breaks loose.
This movie is part of the collection: Feature Films
Director: Zoltan Korda
Producer: Alexander Korda
Production Company: London Film Productions
Audio/Visual: sound, black & white
Keywords: Adventure; Drama; Paul Robeson
Contact Information: www.k-otic.com
Creative Commons license: Public Domain
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Dr Feel Rotten -
Subject: The only thing that comes to mind is exploitation
I don't care that Robeson was a communist. if he was he had every right to be one the way so many black people were treated as garbage in a nation that demanded every bit if not more sweat and blood than the average citizen and gave back even less.
I'm not a communist, but certainly understand the thinking behind it when the wealthy tried to rule the world and make slaves of everyone below them and they're trying again to this day.
This film exploited Robeson's talents to the point of treating him as an animal in many ways. I can see exactly why he hated white America. He was treated like a slave in its grips.
Subject: The Artist
I do enjoy Robesons, singing and acting, but aside from that I have to ditto everything that Psycho said. It has always seemed odd to me(criminal) that we turned a blind eye to the Stalinist excesses, while weeping and wailing about Hitler. But I enjoy old film, and this one is kinda special. Worth watching, just dont forget who he is.
DJ Psychomike -
Subject: Paul Robeson Vs This Movie: A Reply
This just in: now it can be told. Robeson went to the Soviet Union after Kruschev took over- keep in mind Kruschev's secret speech denouncing Stalin was unknown to American communists. He was the first American red told the truth about Stalin. After the meeting, Robeson went to his hotel room and slashed his wrists.....
That it didn't bother communists of the day what happened to all those people that went to help Stalin who "vanished" is the issue.
We now know from KGB files, the release of the info on The Pond by the CIA (google "CIA and the Pond")that Joe McCarthy was correct, that the Communist Party USA was funded by the KGB and was used to recruit spys, in fact, not even the old charge that they were persecuted was true. When Hitler and Stalin signed their peace pact, Hitler was hailed by communists world wide and his "unique, German form of socialism". Had we known, which was released by the British just a few months ago, that the Russians and Germans collaborated on sinking 11 U.S. and UK ships with the loss of all life on board- there would have been war declared on both. Lucky for them we only recently found out.
The release of the Venona Papers and KGB files in books like THE SWORD AND THE SHIELD show that our government was heavilly infiltrated by not just communists, but spys.
That the Democratic Party, FBI, State Department and Army did nothing to remove them is criminal. That the CIA admnits on its own website that they set up and destroyed McCarthy in defiance of their charter by getting involved in domestic affairs is the real outrage.
As for lynchings, I will never understand why lawsuits have never been filed against the political party that fought investigations of lynchings and blocked Federal laws against them. That party should be sued out of existence.After all, murder cases have no time table. They are all still technically open.
Oh wait. It's the same party that allowed Communists to spy on our government! Golly!
At any rate, we can agree on one thing. Now that he's dead, Robeson is at last a good communist!
Subject: Voices from the Dark
Reviewers such as DJ would be on firmer ground reviewing the movie (which is not a good movie, but Robeson as always bringing as much dignity to a bigoted medium, and a bigoted hollywood as he could. Chipping away at it one film at a time) then calling into question men the stature of Paul Robeson.
DJ is very concerned with the disappearance of Americans in Stalinesque Russia, but is noticeably quiet on the murder and lynching of thousands of Americans during the same period of time in the United States. Americans of color.
Maybe you should take into consideration the loyalty a country has shown its citizens when idiotically trying to, from the sidelines, determine the loyalty such a citizen owes to such a country.
In Robeson, unlike most of us, you have a man who didn't simply second guess history, but was the maker of history, in multiple fields.
In turbulent, prejudiced, and ignorant times, he took the road of conscience, and he took it alone. Carving out for himself in academics, in sports, in theater, in film, in politics, and in life.... more than the menial roles America wanted him to stay in.
And all any of us can do, is to aspire to have a fraction of that courage, to despite opposition... make the decisions, that serve our people, our conscience, and our personal god.
Robeson did that.
Robeson's life and convictions were lived in the light, and it will take more than pathetic voices from the dark... to question them.
Cause unless you've equaled a man's good, you are unequal to the job of defining his bad.
Unworthy of it.
So stick to judging the movie, and leave the judging of giants... to their peers. To men who have endured their tragedies and won their triumphs.
Otherwise you're just a sad, jealous voice in the dark. A dog barking at the memory of kings.
Subject: Great Sounds
Fantastic print and sound quality. The previous reviews give more information than I was aware of, I'll just say that it's a film worth watching and, even moreso, hearing.
Subject: Very Good Korda Film
Although politically incorrect by 21st century standards and very slanted towards a colonial British point of view, this film was exceptionally entertaining and every bit as enjoyable as watching films like "King Solomon's Mines". If you will be watching this for the first time, it will not let you down.
Subject: Viewed on Several Levels
Looking at this story-wise wins out as a good idea with interesting interaction and plot. The acting is OK and certainly giving Robeson the opportunity to sing adds the flavor of his charismatic voice and personality.
Politically dealing with the movie is more complicated. British imperialism was a giant force in Africa in the early 20th century. The endeavor of the plot is to give praise to the governing whites as the saviors of the constantly arguing blacks who would destroy themselves without guidance. I have a hard time buying that. There appears to be a lot of generalization about all the native tribes and their inferiority to those from the old world. Even Robeson, who plays an elucidated leader, plays a very obsequious character to the white leader, and it doesn’t ring of realism to how any leader would interact with another. Still, one has to remember that this movie was made in 1935, and scripting, acting and politics were all working together in a limited and much more racist fashion than what we have advanced to today.
I read several articles about the movie after watching it and found that Robeson was very excited at first about playing Bosambo, the leader of his tribe. He had thought that he would be able to portray a leader of dignity and heritage in how a tribal chief was viewed. Unfortunately the script became changed in the last editings. Robeson was called in to do retakes of some of his scenes, and as a result was distraught at the final cut and its release. Apparently Robeson attempted, but failed to purchase every copy of the movie after it was released.